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BlackPhone manufacturer plugs text messaging bug in secure smartphone

1 hour ago | Posted in: security, software, mobile phones

A flaw in a security-focused Android smartphone's software caused it to be susceptible to attack, according to a security researcher. A now-patched vulnerability in an app included on the BlackPhone allowed attackers to read encrypted messages, contacts stored on the smartphone, and to also remotely control device functions.

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Documents show Apple paid just A$80.3M in Australian taxes for 2014

4 hours ago | Posted in: Investor, Apple

Apple paid about A$80.3 million in taxes to the Australian government last year, despite pulling in A$6 billion in revenues in that country, according to documents filed with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. While the company's actual tax bill must legally be kept confidential, an expense figure has to be produced for the sake of annual accounts. The A$80.3 million sum is over twice the A$36.4 million Apple paid in 2013, when it actually took in more revenue, A$6.1 billion.

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Sony reportedly plans 1,000 more layoffs from mobile division

4 hours ago | Posted in:

Sony is planning to cull 1,000 more jobs from its smartphone arm, as it continues to counter its financial problems and become more profitable, a report claims. The under-performing mobile phone unit will apparently undergo layoffs in Europe and China, on top of existing plans to cut 1,000 positions within the division by October.

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French law proposes holding tech companies accountable for hate speech

6 hours ago | Posted in: industry

French lawmakers want to hold tech companies accountable for online hate speech. A proposed law, which will apparently be presented next month, will make Google, Facebook, and any company that offers online services to the public "accomplices" to hate-speech crimes, in an attempt to coerce them to monitor their services more closely, and force the removal of terror-related content.

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ZTE Blade S6 revealed with octa-core 64-bit processor, 13MP camera

7 hours ago | Posted in: mobile phones

Chinese device producer ZTE has introduced a new mid-ranged smartphone in its Blade series, this time with an octa-core processor. The Blade S6 uses the 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 with 2GB of RAM, 16GB of expandable storage, and an Adreno 405 GPU, all packed behind a 5-inch HD IPS In-cell display within a 7.7mm-thick body.

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FCC nixes petition by hotels, disallows Wi-Fi hotspot blocking

9 hours ago | Posted in: industry, security, troubleshooting, networking

A petition by Marriott, Hilton, and an association of hotel owners asking for permission to block guests from creating their own Wi-Fi hotspots has been resolved today in a public notice by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Specifically, the blocking of personal Wi-Fi hotspots is prohibited, and will be "aggressively" investigated and acted against, according to the agency.

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Yahoo barely misses market estimates, reveals Alibaba spin-off plan

10 hours ago | Posted in: Investor

Yahoo's quarterly financial results reveal it has marginally missed market estimates, but it still managed to improve on the last quarter, bringing in $1.18 billion in revenue after traffic acquisition costs (TAC), with a $0.30 non-GAAP earnings per share. The company also revealed it's intentions to spin out the last of its Alibaba stake, a move designed to prevent it from paying out a large amount of tax.

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Briefly: Motorola discounts in February, Amazon Fire Phone deal in UK

11 hours ago | Posted in: mobile phones

Motorola will be offering multiple discounts on devices in its mobile store, as part of a Valentine's Day promotion. From February 3 until February 14, the manufacturer is discounting pre-tax purchases worth $500 by $100, or $35 off $250 purchases, though an customers registering for the promotion within a one-hour window on February 2 will get codes worth $140 and $50 off the $500 and $250 respective purchases.

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Dell announces new Precision M3800 at Sundance Film Festival

19 hours ago | Posted in: computers

The updated model of Dell's Precision M3800 mobile workstation was unveiled at the Sundance Film Festival today. The 15-inch M3800 is designed with ISV-certifications for video editors, graphic designers, and other high-demand users in mind, and is available now from Dell's online store. The new M3800 includes much-requested options, such as a 4K Ultra HD touch display and a new Ubuntu-based developer edition.

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AT&T takes $4B loss on $34.4B in revenues last quarter

20 hours ago | Posted in: Investor

AT&T earned consolidated revenues of $34.4 billion in the last quarter, an improvement from last quarter's $32.9 billion, and a year-on year increase of 3.8 percent -- 4.5 percent if a loss-laden sale of its Connecticut wireline properties is taken into account. Even so, it made for a total loss of $4 billion, or $0.77 per share, something the carrier warned about last week.

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HTML5 video tag is now default for YouTube

20 hours ago | Posted in: industry, developer

YouTube began testing simultaneous support for both Flash and HTML5 video delivery back in 2010, but Flash has continued to be the default in most cases unless users opted into an HTML5 only beta -- until now. YouTube announced today on their developer blog it will now default to utilizing the HTML5 video tag on certain web browsers.

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Cook still bullish on iPad despite softening demand

21 hours ago | Posted in: Apple, iPad

Apple's iPad tablet is continuing to see growing declines in sales, as noted in the most recent quarterly results. As expected, the iPad dropped 18 percent year-over-year in sales, though new models and the holiday season provided a substantial boost from the previous quarter. Although Apple only sold 21.4 million iPads this holiday season compared to 26 million last year, sales were up strongly from the previous quarter, leaping from September's 12.3 million iPads.

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Apple Watch in April, Apple Pay coming to 200K self-service stations

23 hours ago | Posted in: industry, gadgets, Apple

The Apple Watch will ultimately ship in April, the company has confirmed through a quarterly results call hosted by CEO Tim Cook and CFO Luca Maestri. The company didn't go into any other details, such as a specific release date. April, however, is even later than the March timeframe mentioned in recent rumors, which themselves suggested a delay from February. Until now Apple has only ever promised an "early 2015" date.

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Apple Q1 breakdown reveals 18 percent decline in iPad shipments

23 hours ago | Posted in: iPod, iPhone, Investor, computers, Apple, iPad

Beyond its official press release, Apple has posted a detailed breakdown (PDF) of its fiscal first quarter. The document is the only one to mention iPad sales, and reveals that shipments dropped 18 percent year-over-year to 21.42 million. Revenues for the tablet fell 22 percent to $9 billion.

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Apple posts $74.6B in Q1 revenues based on iPhone, Mac sales

Tue January 27, 2015 | Posted in: iPhone, Investor, Apple, iPad

Apple has posted the results of its first fiscal quarter for 2015, which actually ended on December 27. The company says it achieved record quarterly revenue of $74.6 billion, and similarly record-setting net profits of $18 billion, or $3.06 per share. The figures compare against $57.6 billion, $13.1 billion, and $2.07 in Q1 2014; gross margins increased from 37.9 percent to 39.9 percent. Apple notes that international sales made up 65 percent of the recent quarter's revenues.

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Google Fiber heading to Atlanta, Nashville, Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham

Tue January 27, 2015 | Posted in: industry, networking

Just as expected, Google has revealed the next locations it will be launching Google Fiber, following its existing installations in Kansas City, Provo, and Austin. Confirming earlier reports, the high-speed Internet service will be rolling out in Atlanta, Georgia; Nashville, Tennessee; and Raleigh-Durham and Charlotte in North Carolina.

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Previous News

Verizon pays $5M to settle FCC rural call completion investigation

Tue January 27, 2015 | Posted in: industry

Verizon has agreed to settle an investigation with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over complaints that it itself had failed to investigate issues with rural calls. After admitting its failure, Verizon has agreed to pay a fine of $2 million, as well as implementing a "compliance plan" which involves spending an extra $3 million on sorting out rural call completion issues.

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Apple's iOS 8.1.3 goes live, reduces space needed for OTA updates

Tue January 27, 2015 | Posted in: iPod, education, iPhone, security, troubleshooting, Apple, iPad

Apple has released iOS 8.1.3 via iTunes and as an over-the-air download. Though primarily a maintenance update, it does make one important change: reducing the amount of storage that will be needed for future over-the-air upgrades. The amount of space iOS 8 required for an OTA update was a common complaint by users; on 16GB iPhones and iPads, there is frequently too little room left, forcing people to use iTunes instead. Apple hasn't said how much storage will be needed in the future.

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Twitter adds group messaging, 30-second video uploads to mobile apps

Tue January 27, 2015 | Posted in: software, iPhone apps

Twitter has started to add some features it hinted at last November to its mobile apps. Rolling out slowly, users will be able to send Direct Messages to groups of people for the first time, while those who typically post videos to the micro-blogging service will benefit from being able to upload video clips directly to Twitter from within the app, without using a secondary service.

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Hour-long Facebook outage caused through internal issue, not hackers

Tue January 27, 2015 | Posted in: security

A brief one-hour outage of Facebook and Instagram last night was not caused by hackers, the social network has admitted. Refuting claims by a hacking group that it was behind the downtime, Facebook advises it was caused by an alteration on its systems that it quickly repaired, rather than interference from an outside group attacking its servers.

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Dropcam providing free replacement for older cameras

Tue January 27, 2015 | Posted in: gadgets, digital imaging

Owners of older Dropcam camera will be able to upgrade to a newer version at no charge, due to an impending lack of support from the company. The Nest-owned manufacturer will be providing a Dropcam HD as a replacement for earlier models, as the company will be dropping support for original Dropcam and the Dropcam Echo from April 15.

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Briefly: EVGA Torq gaming mice, Shazam adds Spotify to Android app

Tue January 27, 2015 | Posted in: gaming, peripherals, software

EVGA has revealed the Torq X5, X5L, and X3 gaming mice to their range, alongside its existing Torq X10. Featuring customizable RGB LEDs, onboard storage for five profiles, and eight programmable buttons using Omron switches, the mice ship in four different models, with the standard X5 and X3 having 6,400 dpi and 4,000 dpi optical sensors respectively, while the X5L uses 8,200 dpi laser sensor. The new collection starts from $40, rising up to $60.

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Analysts: China iPhone sales outpace US, Apple gaining on Samsung

Tue January 27, 2015 | Posted in: iPhone, Investor, industry, mobile phones, Apple

On Tuesday, Apple will reveal its latest figures on its overall sales and general health, but analysts will again focus on one key segment -- Apple's best-selling device, the iPhone -- as the only metric that matters. Two key aspects of that metric, however, may have larger implications than just the quarterly revenues, or a temporary change in Apple's stock value. According to analysts, it is now likely that Apple is selling more iPhones to China now than it is in the US market (where it is market leader by a long way) -- and even more remarkably, that Apple is close to rivaling the total smartphones sales of rival Samsung.

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Comcast provides letters to politicians supporting its merger with TWC

Tue January 27, 2015 | Posted in: industry

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) frequently puts out a call for comments as part of their decision-making process, and usually hears back from concerned citizens as well as "astroturf" industry-funded campaigns. In the case of the merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable (TWC), however, Comcast posted a thank you to the politicians, organizations and businesses that submitted comments in its favor. An investigation of those letters, however, has revealed a number of politicians who's comments were penned by Comcast employees, and simply signed off on, much like the situation where Mississippi State Attorney General Jim Hood sent a subpoena to Google which was later discovered to have been written by the MPAA's law firm.

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Dutch carrier website source hints at future 'Galaxy S6 Edge'

Tue January 27, 2015 | Posted in: industry, mobile phones

Rather than wait until March for Samsung to introduce it's newest Galaxy phone, Dutch smartphone enthusiasts at Galaxy Club may have discovered an encouraging bit of information while viewing the page source on Vodafone's Dutch website.

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Regulated Bitcoin exchange from Coinbase opens

Mon January 26, 2015 | Posted in: Investor, industry

Coinbase.com, an online Bitcoin wallet site founded in 2012, has announced the start of a new federally-regulated exchange for the digital currency. Coinbase Exchange is available in 24 US states, and stores the user's funds in a special, and now insured, wallet.

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